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Etc. Performance Series in Full Bloom

Etc. Performance Series: April’s Spring Showcase
by Kathleen Glynn for The Dance Journal

Etc. Performance Series premiered its Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 4th and Sunday, April 5th, at the Community Education Center on Lancaster Avenue.  The show was packed with dance, singing and acting talent, featuring works by Andre Jones, Elle, Elisha Halpin, Kate Speer, VADA Dance Collective, Kelly Adorno, SHARP Dance Company, SURGE Dance Team, IdRatherBeHere, and Etc. Performance Series director, Charles Tyson Jr.  The objective of the Etc. Performance Series is to provide “an opportunity for performance artists of any and all genres to show their work to a new and diverse audience in an intimate venue”, a goal which was successfully achieved this past weekend.

Toumbe (Let Us Pray), choreographed by Charles Tyson Jr. himself, opened the evening with a peaceful and content feeling.  The piece featured various jumps and turns, soft in dynamics, executed by two technically efficient dancers.  Elle consisted of three romantic songs sung by the artist Elle, the third of which was debuted from her new CD, Once Upon a Time.  Pieces of U, choreographed by Diane-Sharp Nachsin and performed by four members from SHARP Dance Company, confronted the pains of discrimination through dance, multimedia, and prop.  The piece generated an uncomfortable and uneasy sensation, which was completely effective. Undertow (in progress) was another duet choreographed by Elisha Clark Halpin, inspired Kate Chopin’s short story, “The Awakening”.  The dancing portrayed a struggle with control and physical and emotional manipulation.  Lullabies and Landmines, part of Vada Dance Collective’s repertoire, was choreographed by Katie Skettino.  The technically-demanding solo consisted of an eerily pleasant emotion and music.  Amino Acids, a work from IdRatherBeHere, was a brief theatrical work satirizing the stereotyped personas of actors and actresses.

After a ten minute intermission, the second half of Etc. Performance Series launched with another acting scene entitled Trust!  Directed by Charles Tyson Jr., the work played off of the complexities of straight and homosexual relationships.  Verbalized Ink, another theatrical work directed by Andre N. Jones, included brilliant rapping of contemporary political, spiritual and social issues.  An acting piece from IdRatherBeHere followed, Mominator.  This was a humorous exaggeration and spoof on the tendencies of mothers. The first dance piece of the second act and third dance duet of the evening, Window, was an exceptionally triumphant duet choreographed by Kelly Adorno.  The piece contained challenging partner work and a contrast of abrupt and delicate dynamics, which surprised the audience recurrently.  Flushed Spade, directed and performed by Lee Fogel and Kate Speer, was a silent scene depicting the delirium and mental chaos of small games, gambling, and competition.  With Hesitation, choreographed by Rebecca Moyer from Vada Dance Collective, involved a beautiful trio of both small individual solos and unison.  The movement highlighted exquisite extensions and overall quality of movement.  Boatman was a dance piece inspired by the journey to death and fatal accidents, performed by SHARP Dance Company with guest choreographer, Steven Vaughn.  Lastly, SURGE dance team and choreographer Kelly Snell added a bit of spice to the evening with a fun hip-hop routine.

Etc. Performance Series presents bi-monthly showcases and is quickly growing in popularity and participation.  Don’t miss out on the next show on Saturday, June 6th and Sunday, June 7th, 2009.  For more information, go to http://www.myspace.com/etcseries.

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